NEW YORK – After several promising hours, the proposed three-team trade that would've delivered Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett to the Phoenix Suns appears destined to die, a league source said Wednesday night.
The Timberwolves had hoped to use the Atlanta Hawks as a partner in the deal, but the dysfunctional dynamic between the Hawks' ownership and front office caused the organization to forgo further discussion over the trade that would’ve brought Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire to Atlanta. The Hawks would’ve sent a package of players and the third and 11th picks in Thursday’s draft to Minnesota.
A league source said on Wednesday morning that Wolves owner Glen Taylor had urged his vice president of basketball operations, Kevin McHale, to find a suitable deal for Garnett, who could opt of his contract after next season. After direct negotiations with the Los Angeles Lakers had fallen apart, the Hawks were the next hope to find a circumstance to make the trade possible. Deals with the Boston Celtics fell through earlier in the week when Garnett made it clear that he didn't want to play for Boston.
It remains unclear whether the doomed trade would spare Atlanta of an internal showdown about whom to draft with the No. 3 overall pick. The front office and coaching staff had settled on Florida's Al Horford, but a faction of the team's ownership group, with business interests in China, has been pushing for 7-foot Chinese forward Yi Jianlian.
There had been contact between Hawks guard Joe Johnson and Stoudemire on Wednesday, two sources close to the players said. Reportedly, Stoudemire had been accepting of the possible deal.